Saturday, June 30, 2012

Alaska in photos

We sailed June 6th from Vancouver on the Island Princess. Here are a selection of photos from this trip.

Recap: We took this trip as a family along with John's mother and father. The weather was chilly (50's) and overcast for most of the trip, but then the sun would really come out and it would warm up into the high 60s and low 70s. This was our first cruise on Princess (we'd cruised Disney 7 years ago) and it really is a different cruise/ship and clientele. Primarily people on this cruise were retirement age thereabouts, which we knew ahead of time. The on board entertainment changed nightly and the dancing shows and music were very good. The service was also excellent, and everyone really had a good time. I think the only thing we would change is next time we will book a bigger cabin, or at least one that doesn't require two berths to come from the ceiling. You don't spend a lot of time in a cabin, but it made for tight (but comfortable) quarters. My major concern was sea sickness, but since this was an inside passage cruise, most of the trip was like cruising on a lake with no movement at all. I took Dramamine every day and that worked fine. After the cruise we disembarked in Whittier (Anchorage) and took an observation car to Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge for an overnight and bused the next day to Denali Princess Lodge, and our final day was in Fairbanks, where the sun doesn't set till midnight.

Getting ready to sail in Vancouver
Kids and daddy exploring the ship prior to departure
The indoor pool

Outdoor pool
Jumbotron TV outside for showing movies, but it was too cold really
The Provence dining room where we ate dinner nightly. There were two specialty dining rooms on the boat but we did not try those.

Ship main atrium

There was a card room and a library (which Catherine loved). A lot of retired people take the Alaska cruise, so this place was packed with people playing Bridge on "at sea" days.
The Horizon food court was the main food buffet on the ship and where we ate breakfast and lunch on a daily basis. The food was good.
By the open air pool there was a pizza place. The pizza wasn't very good. Kind of worse than your typical frozen pizza.
There was an ice cream and milk shake stand at the indoor pool, which the kids liked. And of course, old people love the some ice cream.

Another shot of the outdoor pool. We rarely saw anyone brave the water, though it was heated.
This is out 4 person cabin with two single beds and two beds that folded out of the ceiling. It made for a tight cabin.

Another shot of the two upper beds over the two lower beds. Kind of like being at camp
It was nice to have a balcony to go out and take pics

William got his inner groove on at the sail away party with the other grand moms.

The kids enjoyed chess on deck

And shuffleboard

And the hot tubs and the pool

There were three kids clubs on board. One for toddlers, one for elementary school age, and one for teens. There were 160 kids out of 2000 passengers, so not many participated in the kids activities. There was something running every hour all day long so if kids got bored, they could drop in for movies, Wii, PlayStation, crafts etc. William really liked the kids club.

On our trip (7 days on the boat visiting Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay, plus overnights in Denali, Mt. McKinley and Fairbanks) we got to see a lot of cool things like totem pole parks, dog sledding, the Mendenhall Glacier, lumberjack shows, mountains, moose and caribou.

In Fairbanks the extremely long days make for some enormous flowers. Check out the begonia and the peony.

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